A few thoughts


We have a few things on our mind as we wait for that text message from the state’s preregistration system saying we have an appointment for a vaccine.

There is always a bit of NIMBY-ism when it comes to projects proposed by Island Housing Trust. But we think Philippe Jordi and his crew do an amazing job working with neighbors and letting them know what to expect. IHT is doing great work in providing affordable home ownership and rental apartments.

That’s why it was so disappointing to learn that someone had vandalized IHT’s latest project in Tisbury on Kuehn’s Way. This development, which will be similar to the Scott’s Grove housing in West Tisbury, has been years in the making. Recently, an individual or individuals poured motor oil into a newly drilled well on the property

IHT is working with the Environmental Police to attempt to find the person or persons responsible. 

It’s possible it was a teen or teenagers just not thinking about their act, but that seems unlikely, given where the wells are located on the property. Jordi called it a “very deliberate” act.

The potential damage to the project and the Island’s sole-source aquifer is troubling.

If you know something about this, you should contact Det. Andrew Lieberwirth of the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 617-963-2657.

Speaking of disappointment, we weren’t happy when we got a press release about the Steamship Authority’s survey dealing with a redesign of the SSA website. Yes, we think the site desperately needs an upgrade. It’s not user-friendly, and it can be difficult to navigate. But it’s the incentive offered by the SSA for folks to participate that we found disappointing.

Survey respondents had the opportunity to enter a drawing for four $500 Amazon gift cards. The SSA serves the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Both have had businesses devastated by the pandemic. Meanwhile, Amazon executives Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy have benefited from COVID-19, with the online purchase of products skyrocketing. Providing gift cards to Amazon is completely tone-deaf.

When we asked about it, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll, who is leading the project for the ferry service, said Amazon was picked because the survey could be filled out by all of their customers, including those who don’t live on the islands.
Well, presumably, if they’re answering a survey about a ferry line that would take them to either island, they’re planning to visit in the future. Imagine what a boost of a $500 gift card would do for retailers on Circuit Ave., or restaurants in Vineyard Haven, or any number of businesses across the Island? And the SSA had that opportunity right under their noses with Martha’s Vineyard Bank’s successful Lift Certificates program that benefits Martha’s Vineyard businesses. They could have found something similar on Nantucket.

After we asked about the gift card incentives, Driscoll said the SSA would honor a winner’s request to get a card for a local business instead. Here’s hoping that the winners do the right thing and get gift cards to businesses either on Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket instead of putting even more cash in the pockets of Amazon.

On the flip side, we are happy that the SSA is looking to work with its contractor Centerplate to bring back some food items on ferries — especially with the warmer weather coming. More people are being vaccinated, and COVID numbers are under control on the Island, so it’s a good time to explore offering prepackaged snacks.

Finally, we were thrilled to see, after our editorial last week that signs were, in fact, erected at the East Chop Lighthouse, and the gate around it was bolted shut. It’s a good interim measure until remediation of the lead contamination can be completed. We appreciate the Oak Bluffs board of health taking a second look at the issue.


  1. Fortunately, oil does not mix with water, the person who committed this act of vandalism could have poured worse contaminants in the well. One would presume that the person is not particularly thoughtful to begin with. Or, perhaps the person never drinks water? We are fortunate to live in a place where, with some home filtration, we can drink the water from our taps. Thank you Water Companies of the Island.

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